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Djokovic leads Serbia, others into Davis Cup Finals

By Tobi Awodipe, with agency report
25 November 2021   |   3:55 am
World number one, Novak Djokovic will lead the charge for Serbia at the ongoing Davis Cup Finals tie, which starts today, while World number two, Daniil Medvedev, headlines a strong Russian team at the finals.

World number one, Novak Djokovic will lead the charge for Serbia at the ongoing Davis Cup Finals tie, which starts today, while World number two, Daniil Medvedev, headlines a strong Russian team at the finals. The tournament will hold in three different countries- Madrid, Spain, Innsbruck, Austria and Turin, Italy.

Despite Spain’s biggest star, Rafael Nadal’s absence due to injury, reigning champions, Spain, still has a strong team, with Pablo Carreno Busta and Intesa Sanpaolo and Next Gen ATP Finals champion, Carlos Alcaraz competing. Alcaraz will be making his Davis Cup debut after enjoying a breakthrough year.

20-year-old Jannik Sinner will make his debut for Italy, while Cameron Norrie will spearhead Great Britain’s push following his standout 2021 season. Fernando Verdasco, who used to play for Spain, would be tournament director this year. Each venue will host the matches for two of the six groups as well as at least one quarterfinal. Madrid will host two quarterfinals, both semi-finals and the final.

The finals will feature 18 teams, including 12 qualifiers, the previous edition’s four semi-finalists and two wild cards. The teams are divided into one of six groups where they compete in a round-robin format.

Madrid Arena, Madrid, Spain will feature Spain, Russia Tennis Federation and Ecuador (Group A), Canada, Kazakhstan and Sweden (Group B). Halle, Innsbruck, Austria will feature France, Great Britain and Czech Republic (Group C) and Serbia, Germany, Austria (Group F).

Pala Alpitour, Turin, Italy will host Croatia, Australia, Hungary (Group D) and United States, Italy, Colombia (Group E). All ties will consist of two singles and one doubles; both singles and doubles are best-of-three sets with ad scoring. The second-ranked players on each team will contest the first match and the first-ranked players on each team will contest the second match. The doubles match will follow the singles match.

The teams with the highest number of points in their groups will qualify for the quarter-finals, alongside the best two runners-up. The tournament will then go into knockout rounds until one team is crowned champion. Spain defeated Canada 2-0 in the 2019 final with Roberto Bautista Agut downing Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(3), 6-3, before Rafael Nadal clinched the tie, overcoming Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 7-6 (7). Last year’s event was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic. So, the tournament did not hold and Spain arrives as defending nation.

The United States would be looking to recapture their lost glory as they remain the country with the most titles at 32 but have defending champions, Spain, Germany and Serbia’s Djokovic to contend with if they are to win another title.